Accutane: Drug Overview

Accutane (generic isotretinoin) is a form of synthetic vitamin A used to treat serious forms of cystic acne that will not respond to other treatment. The Accutane claim is that it sometimes permanently clears serious acne after a few months of treatment, while other treatments are only effective as long as they are continued. Accutane decreases the amount of oil (sebum) produced by the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin and increases the rate at which the skin is renewed.

Accutane is manufactured in the US by Hoffman La Roche, part of “The Roche Group,” a leading international pharmaceutical company with subsidiaries active in 150 countries. Accutane was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in June 1982, and by 2000 Hoffman La Roche reported that 5 million people in the US and 12 million worldwide had taken the drug, most of them young adults.

Within a year of the FDA’s approval reports began to come in of serious deforming birth defects in children born to women using Accutane. Within 3 years of the FDA approval reports, other alarming side effects, including depression and seizures, began to come in. There were reports of several suicides in patients taking Accutane. Later reports of severe cases of inflammatory bowel disease and pancreatitis were reported.

The FDA has required several increased levels of warnings about side effects and Hoffman La Roche has designed two programs to reduce the number of pregnancies in women using Accutane that were not successful, followed by an equally unsuccessful FDA program.

Check out the following articles for more information about Accutane, filing an Accutane lawsuit and finding an Accutane attorney.